Help available for those forced to resign

We refer to the letter by Mr Edmund Khoo Kim Hock, who raised concerns about forced resignations suppressing the number of retrenchments reported (Do more to help older S'poreans who were laid off, May 10).

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) considers forced resignations as wrongful dismissals and will investigate all cases brought to our attention.

The incidence of reports regarding forced resignations is low, at less than 3 per cent of termination-related complaints last year. Nonetheless, where substantiated, MOM will not hesitate to take employers to task, such as requiring the errant employer to compensate the employee.

Retrenchment data reported by MOM has consistently tracked the state of the economy. The recent reduction in retrenchments is aligned with improvements in other economic indicators.

Since last January, employers have been required to report retrenchment exercises to MOM. This has allowed us to reach out to about 11,000 retrenched employees to offer our assistance.

Through the Adapt and Grow initiative, job seekers get help with career matching and are supported by programmes to overcome wage and skill mismatches. In particular, the Career Support Programme and Professional Conversion Programme provide higher salary support to employers who hire older job seekers.

Last year, these efforts resulted in more than 25,000 placements, with about 30 per cent comprising older workers aged 50 and above.

Employees who have been forced to resign should report the matter to MOM. They can e-mail mom_lrwd@mom.gov.sg or call 6438-5122. Job seekers can contact Workforce Singapore (WSG) at 6883-5885 for assistance.

Then Yee Thoong

Divisional Director

Labour Relations and Workplaces Division

Ministry of Manpower

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 31, 2018, with the headline 'Help available for those forced to resign'. Print Edition | Subscribe